Tasik Kenyir
(Lake Kenyir)

beautiful view of kenyir lake, malaysia

Largest Man-Made Lake in Malaysia

Tasik Kenyir ( Kenyir Lake) is currently the largest man-made lake in South-east Asia. It was created by the building of the Sultan Mahmud Dam and the drowning of forests to fill it.

Spanning more than 210,000 hectares, the lake area is in fact one and half times larger than Pulau Pinang (Penang Island).

The lake itself contains about 340 islands that were formerly highlands and hills drowned by the water, and around the lake there are more than 14 rivers with numerous streams and waterfalls that flow into the lake.

Located in the Malaysian state of Trengganu, this huge lake of Malaysia shares its borders with Pahang in the south and Kelantan in the west, and is an access point to Taman Negara (National Park) from Trengganu, via Pengkalan Gawi (Gawi Jetty) and Petang Island.

Adventure And Fun

You can take a fun cruise in the lake, and you can do this via the many river-boat operators at the Pengkalan Gawi (Gawi Jetty) area.

You can choose either the speed-boats, cruise-boats or the boat-houses that cater for the keen anglers.

The boathouses travel to waterfalls and fishing sites proving an exhilarating adventure for nature lovers.

There are sites for camping and jungle trekking for those who are more adventurous.

picture of boats anchored at tasik kenyir, malaysia
Kayaking, canoeing, boating and water-rafting at rapids are also available there. In fact there is an annual Kenyir Regatta for boat enthusiasts and water lovers.

Spelunking or caving enthusiasts come to Tasik Kenyir to explore the limestone caves of Bewah and Taat. It takes about 2 hours to reach the caves from Pengkalan Gawi.

Taat had originally three caves but the lowest is now submerged when the dam water raised. Known as Tok Bidan Cave, this was the site where in the 1970's archaeologists found artifacts dating back to the Neolithic period.

And recent findings at Bewah Cave of skeletons and artifacts dating back to 16,000 years to the Mesolithic age have attracted historians and archaeologists to the area.

saok waterfalls - steps to the entrance waterfalls at tasik kenyir sungai buweh waterfalls entrance

Swim at the Waterfalls

The areas around Lake Kenyir have many waterfalls, with spectacular ones being the Lasir Waterfalls, Tembat Waterfalls and Saok Waterfalls.

Lancang Waterfalls (Air Terjun Lancang) is at Petuang, and rapids at Lata Terap. The Sungai Buweh waterfalls is also nearby, about 5.5 kilometers from Pengkalan Gawi, while many other small waterfalls can be seen along the Gawi-Kuala Koh road, north of the lake.

picture of a submerged tree in kenyir lake, malaysia boat-house on the lake at tasik kenyir, Malaysia an island in tasik kenyir, terengganu

Discover Nature and Wildlife

Birds are plentiful, with more than 230 species, both resident and migratory, recorded and observed.

There are nine species of hornbills to be seen there and raptors, like Wallace's Hawk Eagle and Grey-headed Fish Eagle.

A popular destination for birders at Lake Kenyir is the forested and some open areas of the 6 kilometers-long Sungai Buweh recreational road, located just a few minutes drive from Pengkalan Gawi.

There are many stops and lay-byes for birders and bird-watchers to park their vehicles along the route.

Of course butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies, insects, reptiles and amphibians are common in the Tasik Kenyir area. It is indeed a wildlife and nature-lover's haven.

Other wildlife that can sometimes be seen in the surrounding forests include otters, macaques, tapirs, white-handed gibbons, sumatran rhinoceros, Asian elephants, wild cats, panther, malayan tiger and sun-bears.

chocolate demon butterfly at lake kenyir water monitor lizard at lake kenyir, malaysia minivet bird eating insect at lake kenyir

Fishes, Fishes and Fishes

tasik kenyir view of the hills
The serene and placid waters of Tasik Kenyir disguise the presence of myriads of fishes that live in it. Toman, baung, kelah, sebarau, lampan sungai, parang, kawan, terbul and many other species of Malaysian fishes abound in the waters and the rivers, making it one of the most popular angling spots in Malaysia, especially during the rainy season at the end of the year.

view of kenyir lake from the chalet
And as one of the access points to Taman Negara, you can visit the Kelah Sanctuary located at Sungai Petang in Petang Island, which takes about 40 minutes by speedboat from Gawi Jetty, and a further half-hour trekking.

The Kelah Sanctuary, covering an area of more than 407 hectares, is a gazetted protected zone for the preservation and breeding of local Malaysian Mahseer (kelah) and fresh-water fishes, and therefore fishing in the area is strictly prohibited. Of course the encounters with the fishes living there is an experience to remember.

Visit the Herbal Park (Taman Herba)

It is believed that the Lake Kenyir area is home to more than 8,000 species of flowers, 2,500 species of plants and trees, 800 species of orchids, and 300 species of fungus.

entrance to herbal park at lake kenyir, malaysia
The Taman Herba Tasik Kenyir (or Kenyir Lake Herbal Park) is a short, maybe 10 minutes, boat-ride away from Gawi Jetty and is located at Pulau Sah Kecil.

There are more than 200 types of traditional and indigenous herbal plants that are grown there.

If you wish to know how Tongkat Ali, Kacip Fatimah, Mas Cotek, Haji Samad or Misai Kucing and other popular Malay traditional herbs look like, visit this Tasik Kenyir Herbal Park. Entrance is free.

There you can even self-serve and try the warm drink of Tongkat Ali and Kacip Fatimah (traditional aphrodisiacs for men and women respectively) that are made available free for visitors. A warning here though -- the drinks taste a little bitter, as all medicines.


There are many resorts around the lake with different facilities and standards, such as the Lake Kenyir Resort and Spa at Gawi Jetty, Petang Island Resort at Petang island, and Uncle John Resort at Lasir.

Or you can also camp out as there are campsites with basic facilities at the various waterfalls and attraction spots.

Find out in this link some of the popular Terengganu hotels and resorts and find the best deals available.

resort chalets at lake kenyir, malaysia tourist information center at tasik kenyir, malaysia small jetty at lake kenyir, malaysia

How to get there?

From Kuala Lumpur, the shortest route is via Kuantan, taking the Jerangau-Jabor Highway to the town of Ajil and Kuala Berang, and then it is about 35km to Pengkalan Gawi (Tasik Kenyir).

cooling view of lake kenyir after sunset
Those from the south can take the Kota Tinggi-Mersing route to Kuantan, then up the Jerangau-Jabor Highway.

Another alternative is by taking the coastal road through Kemaman, Dungun, Kuala Terengganu and then Kenyir Lake.

For those coming from the north, head towards Kuala Terengganu, then make your way to Kampung Kuala Jeneris before reaching Lake Kenyir.

If you don’t fancy driving, then there is the Tasik Kenyir Express Coach Service departing from Kuala Lumpur which drops you off at the Tourism Center at Pengakalan Gawi.


Take care of the environment, and enjoy.

Visit Lake Kenyir

The placid waters plus the tranquility and serenity of the atmosphere at Lake Kenyir make it one of the best places to while away your stress, strains and sorrows, and to re-charge, soothe and uplift your body, while reflecting on the greatness of the Creator and marvelling at His creatures and creations, wildlife and nature.

Take care of the environment, and enjoy.

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In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures that He has scattered through them: and He has Power to gather them together when He wills.

There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you.

And God has created every animal from water: of them there are some that creep on their bellies; some that walk on two legs; and some that walk on four. God creates what He wills for verily God has power over all things.